After months and months of pre-production, including injured actors, troubles with the script and a complete overhaul, the beleaguered Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” officially opened on the Great White Way on Tuesday night (June 14).
MTV News braved the rain and crowds at the Foxwoods Theater in the heart of midtown Manhattan to chat with the musical’s production team about what the show’s fits and starts have taught them along the way.
“It’s just hard to do anything when you’re trying to do something new and big and different,” original director Julie Taymor said of the challenges. “If you are really trying something extraordinary, it’s going to be difficult. And that’s OK, because eventually you get there.”
“I think what happened is that when they were in previews, they discovered that the demographic was so big, they had 6-year-old children in the audience, they had 86-year-old grandparents in the audience. They wanted to make sure the show could reach out to all of them,” explained new director Philip William McKinley.
“I think we tried to make the story a bit more linear,” added writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. “But we also tried to bring the characters that fans know and love, Mary Jane, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, the Green Goblin, we tried to give them more material and go a little bit deeper on their journeys.”
McKinley told a story about watching two young boys in the theater’s lobby “webbing” each other after one of the preview performances, who declared it the “best Broadway show ever” and said they couldn’t wait to see their next musical.
“I thought, ‘Perfect, let’s develop those new audiences,’ ” McKinley said of bringing more people into the theater experience.
“The people that we’ve met in the community who really care for the art, they want to see new blood, they want to see new innovation,” said Bono, who wrote songs for the show with U2 bandmate The Edge. “They want to see new characters onstage, and I think we brought that.”